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Sacramento approves new Kings arena in final vote

May 21, 2014, 1:38 AM EDT

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Years and even decades of struggles came to an end on Tuesday, when the Sacramento City Council voted 7-2 to approve a new Entertainment and Sports Center that the Kings will call home as soon as the 2016 season. This is the final vote on the arena and demolition of a failed mall at the new arena site in Sacramento’s downtown will commence immediately.

Tuesday’s vote was marked by all-day celebrations including appearances by owner Vivek Ranadive, point guard Isaiah Thomas, and a host of local figures that were instrumental in keeping the team in town.

Sacramento had tried for years to come to an agreement on an arena with the intransigent Maloof family, who lost the means to own an NBA team and desperately sought to relocate as a solution to their financial woes.

The team was eventually sold to Ranadive after Seattle billionaires Chris Hansen and Steve Ballmer tried to cut a quick deal with the Maloofs, which the league rejected because of its preference to keep the team in Sacramento. The Maloofs begrudgingly sold the team to Ranadive after it was clear that they had no other choice.

Kings fans have dealt with relocation threats for many years and their grassroots efforts to keep the team were well-documented. Their local politicians and business leaders made a concerted effort to keep the team in town. That support was the difference between keeping the team and suffering the fate of other cities like Seattle that did not want to play ball on the issue of public funding for state-of-the-art arenas.

While the topic of public funding for arenas is controversial, what isn’t in doubt is that Sacramento put its time and money on the line and the city deserves tremendous credit for keeping its team. Tuesday’s vote leaves just one last step in a long journey – opening night.

  1. seattlesuperchronic - May 21, 2014 at 2:00 AM

    Congratulations Sacramento, honestly. I’ve gone through all the stages of grief with the Sonics, I’d love to see them back in Seattle but not at the cost of another city losing their team.

  2. innovativethinking87 - May 21, 2014 at 2:02 AM

    Great job sacramento. They showed dedication to keep their team. That fan base is easily up there with the Portland, Golden State of known supportive fan bases The Maloofs were just incompetent owners who purposely alienated the sacramento fans

  3. realfootballfan - May 21, 2014 at 2:49 AM

    From the team being all but out the door to saving it in the end. Happy endings do happen, even though I’m sure the taxpayers will get stuck with most of the bill.

    • asimonetti88 - May 21, 2014 at 10:47 AM

      They will. This arena deal is a tough one for the city and the taxpayers. Helps out the billionaires that own the team a lot though!

      • andreboy1 - May 21, 2014 at 4:00 PM

        The Kings only play there maybe only 60 days a year if they go deep into the playoffs. The REST of the year (maybe 300 days) that building will be used for other business purposes that will re-invigorate the city and downtown.

        This is an absolutely GREAT business decsion for the city. It’s going to cost taxpayers money but they will get to reap the long run revenue benefits and revitalization of that crappy downtown area. I go to more concerts per year than Kings games so you don’t have to be just a sports fan to be supportive of this project. Anyone who doesn’t support this decision is just completely narrow-minded and can’t get over the fact that it NOT just a building for a basketball team.

      • asimonetti88 - May 21, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        Study after study has shown absolutely NO economic benefit of building new stadiums.

  4. thekingdave - May 21, 2014 at 3:25 AM

    Big props to Aaron Bruski for showing up every 4 months to update us on the Kings situation. Still better than that Ira Winderman dude.

  5. Earnest Christian - May 21, 2014 at 5:19 AM

    Reblogged this on The OpinioNation and commented:
    Shoutout to Mayor Kevin Johnson. Now let’s see if they can build a contender. They have lots of talent up and down that roster.

    • duhwighthoward - May 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM

      “Shout out to Mayor Kevin Johnson.” Well, Mr. Christian, you do know that he’s a child molester, right?

      You must be a catholic priest.

  6. El Pollo Loco - May 21, 2014 at 9:41 AM

    Good job.Now build a better team!

  7. azarkhan - May 21, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    Great job Sacramento! (LOL)

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KCRA) —Amid the excitement at Sacramento City Hall over the future of the Kings, the city manager released a budget on Monday that includes a $9 million deficit and predicted continuing deficits.

    “It’s [deficits] as far as the eye can see, and it certainly goes out for the five years of our forecast,” said Shirey…City Manager John Shirey says that pension costs are causing a $8.9 million shortfall.

    Read more: http://www.kcra.com/news/local-news/news-sacramento/sacramento-faces-9m-budget-shortfall/19950132#ixzz32MF0Ikae

    • duhwighthoward - May 21, 2014 at 10:01 AM

      Let’s hear it for mayor child molester!

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